Now Is the Time to Clarify Your Vision
What do Disney, Netflix, Revlon and AirBNB have in common? They all started during a recession, along with Trader Joe’s, Microsoft and even Sports Illustrated. Whether you’re starting a company, reinventing one, or thriving through the pandemic, now is the time to be very clear about the vision of your company:
1. Carve Out Time: Running your business day-to-day is important. It’s also critical, to carve out time by yourself or with your leadership team to paint a picture of the future. Make it more than a vision statement and address the threats and opportunities around your customers, market and operation.
2. Get Your Sales Hat On: Once your vision is defined, be prepared to sell your stakeholders -employees, investors, board members, etc. Be sure to engage your naysayers early on. Describe the WHY behind your vision and how each of your stakeholders benefit from your vision. You can never over communicate.
3. Work Backwards to Create Action: If you’re looking 3-5 years out, work backwards defining the milestones you need to reach to get there. I love this approach because it makes you think differently. Include your employees and other stakeholders in this process so they own the part they’re going to play in making your vision reality.
4. Be Willing to Pivot: Pivoting doesn’t mean going after a new shiny object every month to get where you want to go. It means, be willing to pay attention to signs and realities that may lead you to tweak things along the way. That’s why it’s so important to step back from your day-to-day and have quiet time to not only draft your vision, but make sure you’re on the right track.
Above all, make sure that your vision and strategy to get there support your core values and the culture of your organization.
Note to employees: Unclear on where your company and boss are going? Ask these questions...Where do you see this company in the next 3 years? What can I be doing differently or better to help you get there?
Check out this article on post-crisis vision from Harvard Business Review